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I would like to upgrade my laptop's (Dell M70) hard drive to an SSD, such as the Intel X25-M MLC SSD or a Dell 128 GB Serial ATA SSD. Do SSDs require any special hardware to work properly, or is installing an SSD in place of a regular hard drive OK?

The page for the Dell SSD doesn't list my laptop as compatible, so that's why I'm asking :)

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Look at… – Bender Sep 26 '09 at 8:04
Just a word of caution: Dell Support will not answer after this, and some people got into a whole lot of trouble by trying it. – harrymc Sep 26 '09 at 9:09
@harrymc: If any problems were encountered with the laptop, why couldn't he just put the old hard drive back in before contacting Dell? ;) – Breakthrough Sep 26 '09 at 12:03
@Breakthrough: this means he has to keep the old drive intact and ready. – harrymc Sep 26 '09 at 12:54

You'll have to find a Parallel ATA (PATA) SSD.

alt text

Serial ATA (SATA) SSDs will not work with your M70.

Dell Precision M70 Mobile Workstation for Business specification. Storage controller type: EIDE.

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Is there any benefit here though - surely it won't be as fast for instance. – Rich Bradshaw Oct 25 '09 at 8:00
the benefits: they will fit the controller in question, and they're certainly faster than conventional platter hard disk drives. – Molly7244 Oct 25 '09 at 11:54

Edit: read Molly's post! You can only use the SSD if the laptop actually support S-ATA, else it's not possible.

In case it does work and you install Windows 7, it will detect the SSD and turns off functions like defragmentation and the like, for the rest there is no real difference.

And be sure to check the answer given by caliban in the other question, which is excellent!

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nah, Ivo, he wouldn't be OK, the Dell M70 is over 4 years old and doesn't have a SATA controller. – Molly7244 Sep 26 '09 at 14:55
Ah well if it can't handle S-ATA drives this whole question is a non-issue: buy a new laptop :P – Ivo Flipse Sep 26 '09 at 15:23
not necessarily, you can still get PATA SSDs. – Molly7244 Sep 26 '09 at 17:36
Hi all, thanks for your replies. "lshw" on Linux lists a "82801FBM (ICH6M) SATA Controller". I've also removed the hard drive to have a look at the port, and the hard drive is a regular ATA drive, but has a port converter from ATA to SATA (15 pins). So I guess a SATA hard drive should work :) Any comments on this? – user12420 Sep 27 '09 at 11:43
If SATA works, SSDs should work just the same. Note that a good SSD could also be placed in a newer laptop if you ever upgrade – Ivo Flipse Sep 27 '09 at 20:27

This is quite simple. There are two types of SSD drives. They are EIDE and SATA. If you find an EIDE SSD drive, and you can find plenty on Amazon's site, plop it in the computer, and it will add some speed to your PC. You just gotta put the right SSD drive with the right form factor. Install an EIDE SSD inside an older model laptop or desktop, which would take EIDE drives, and install a SATA SSD inside a newer model laptop or desktop, which takes SATA drives. Make sure you order a 2.5" drive for your laptop, or a 3.5" drive for your desktop, unless your desktop has a bracket that can fit the 2.5" drive. The SATA SSD drives are less expensive than the EIDE SSD drives, since all EIDE drives are being phased out. The size of the ALL SATA drives are bigger compared to EIDE drives. Also, the size of desktop drives aare bigger than laptop drives, no matter if it's a SATA or EIDE. SATA drives are faster than EIDE ones, but EIDE SSD drives are faster than conventional EIDE drives, just as SATA SSD drives are faster than conventional SATA drives. Of course, when I say conventional, I mean drives with moving parts. SSD drives are only drives with flash memory inside them. They last a lot longer than conventional drives.

Hope this helps!

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This weekend I successfully installed a KingSpec KSD-PA25.6-064MS 2.5" PATA/IDE SSD in my faithful old Dell M70.

There really wasn't much to it. I first installed the KingSpec SSD in a IDE-to-USB adaptor, plugged it into the M70, and then used Acronis TrueImage to clone the C: drive (including the backup partition). I used Acronis but any similar product (e.g. Macrium Reflect) will do. I then powered down; unnplugged the power and the battery--although that probably wasn't really necessary, and removed the disk caddy by undoing the two Phillips screws that retain it. I pulled the edge connector adaptor off the old Seagate drive and pushed it onto the KingSpec drive. I then put the KingSpec drive into the caddy and reinstalled it in the M70. I then replaced the battery and powered up. Acronis did some final checks, then Windows booted. Windows discovered the new drive, loaded the drivers and requested a reboot. After the reboot everything just worked.

Actually the above skips the step where I foolishly removed the factory-fitted master disk jumper from the KingSpec drive because it the Seagate wasn't strapped that way. The result was the Dell couldn't see the SSD. Putting the jumper back made everything work.

My only regret is that I didn't install a bigger SSD. However I have no use for a very fast 32-bit Windows XP machine so I will be overwriting the SSD with a Linux release shortly.

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Last night I installed Ubuntu 15.04 on it. I now have a dirt-cheap Linux development 'top with a high-res screen. It's probably not the machine for everyone but it's a very good match to my needs. And the SSD is working fine. – Roy Jun 30 '15 at 12:28

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